Looking for some fun and interesting things to do in Alamogordo, NM? Luckily, I got you covered. While my husband was participating in a training program at Holloman Air Force Base, I was looking for things to do in the area. I had lots of time to explore the area in and around Alamogordo and found some amazing places.
The beautiful nature area around the city is definitely worth exploring. Also, these tips are great if you are looking for things to do near Holloman AFB.
So you can make the most out of your trip to Alamogordo, I have created this ultimate list and travel guide to the cute little city. Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
- 1. The White Sands National Park
- 2. The New Mexico Museum of Space History
- 3. A day trip to Cloudcroft
- 4. Visit the World’s Largest Pistachio in Alamogordo, NM
- 5. Alameda Park Zoo
- 6. Trinity Site
- 7. The White Sands Missile Range Museum
- 8. Visit the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park
- 9. Visit the Toy Train Depot
- 10. Visit the Tularosa Basin Museum of History
- 11. The Desert Foothills Park
- 12. The American Armed Forces Museum
- 13. See the Bridal Veil Falls
- 14. Play golf at the Desert Lakes Golf Center
- 15. See the Three Rivers Petroglyph site
- 16. Check out the Rocket City Family Fun Center
- 17. Heart of the Desert/Eagle Ranch Pistachios Farm Tour
- 18. Shroud Exhibit and Museum, Alamogordo, NM
- 19. New Mexico Rails-to-Trails
- 20. Sacramento Mountains Museum, Alamogordo, NM
- 21. Grindstone Stables, Ruidoso, NM
- 22. Grindstone Lake
- 23. Noisy Water Winery
- 24. Plateau Espresso
- 25. Flickinger Center for Performing Arts
- 26. Shop and Dine at the Alamogordo Main Street
- 27. Tunnel Vista Observation Site
- How to get to Alamogordo
- When is the best time to visit Alamogordo?
- Where to eat in Alamogordo
- Where to stay in Alamogordo
- Frequently asked Questions
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1. The White Sands National Park
The White Sands National Park is located about 15 miles outside of Alamogordo. It is only a couple of minutes of driving away from the city. This is one of my favorite things to do in Alamogordo, NM.
It is one of the most underrated national wonders of the world. The beautiful white desert consist of 275 square miles of gypsum sand. It is a one of a kind experience you can have nowhere else.
The history of the White Sands National Park is very interesting and goes far back. The oldest human footprints have been found right there in the park. This proves that human beings have lived there for 23.000 years.
Things to do in the Park
- Join a guided tour in the park: there is an amazing offer in FREE guided tours and walks with park rangers. We joined the sunset walk with a park ranger and learned so much about the flora, fauna and history of the place. The park is amazing during sunset!
- Hike one of the major foot trails in the park: The Interdune Boardwalk is roughly 0.3 miles (0,5 km) long. It takes you to a magnificent viewpoint. The Playa Trail is also about 0.3 miles (0,5 km) long. For experienced hikers the Alkali Flat trail is a great option with roughly 4.3 miles (7 km).
- Go sledding in the park: Rent some plastic sleds from the visitors center and take them down the white sand dunes.
- Visit the White Sands National Park Museum: The Museum is interactively designed and teaches you all you need to know about the park and the surrounding area.
- Bring some meat and have a BBQ in the park, there are many different amenities all over the park.
- Go camping
- Discover the White Sands National Park on horseback
- One of the coolest things to do in Alamogordo at night is doing a full-moon walk
Weather at the White Sands National Park
The climate at the White Sands National Park is classified as a cold semi-arid climate (BSk). It is also bordering on a cold desert climate. During the summer months of June to August, it can get really hot. In winter the temperatures can occasionally drop below the freezing point.
There is barely any rain in the area, so you can visit the park almost every day.
Here is my advice on when to best go to the White Sands National Park.
How to get to the White Sands National Park?
The city of Alamogordo is roughly 15 miles (24 km) away. You need a car to reach the Park from the city.
Take the US Route 70 by car. After a short stop at the visitor center, you have to drive the 8 mile (13 km) long dune drive towards the inside of the park.
The entrance fee into the National Park is 25 USD per vehicle and 12 USD per person arriving by foot or bicycle. If you are planning on visiting more often, the annual pass for 45 USD is a great option.
2. The New Mexico Museum of Space History
The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo was founded in 1976 and is an interesting place to see in Alamogordo, NM. It is focused on the role New Mexico has played in the development of the US Space program.
The facility offers access to the Space History museum. You have the opportunity of visiting the International Space Hall of Fame, a dome theater and planetarium, an Astronaut Memorial Garden, and the Hubbard Space Research Center.
There are many different exhibitions showcased, so you can also visit it on multiple different occasions. This is a super interesting New Mexico museum!
Prices: (for Adults)
Museum only: $8.00
Feature Films: $8.00
Planetarium Shows: $6.00
3. A day trip to Cloudcroft
Cloudcroft is a super cute small mountain village. It is located in the Lincoln National Forest.
Cloudcroft is situated at an altitude of 8,676 ft. It is super close to Alamogordo and a great place to visit on your trip. The charming little village has around 700 inhabitants.
There are many amazing and fun things to do in Cloudcroft. Young and old love this scenic little mountain village.
The area around the town is famous for its hiking trails. Most of them lead in the open forest. You can enjoy a great walk or hike and be rewarded with an amazing view of the valley and the city of Alamogordo.
We visited Cloudcroft in winter. I found taking a walk through the snow-covered mountains magical. We enjoyed a hot beverage afterward in the scenic town-center. It has cute shops, great restaurants, and an interesting historic Mountain museum.
Winter sport fans will love a day trip to Cloudcroft. Ice skating, skiing and mountain tubing are only a few examples of the things to do in Cloudcroft.
4. Visit the World’s Largest Pistachio in Alamogordo, NM
Alamogordo, NM is home to the world’s biggest pistachio. But I will let you in on a secret: It is not a real pistachio!
This is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Alamogordo, NM. It is standing 30 feet tall and is located in the so called PistachioLAND. You can see over 12.000 pistachio trees on this farm!
The farm has a property of 90-acres . 14-passenger open-air shuttle transport visitors around the 12,000+ pistachio trees. My personal favorite: the amazing view of the vineyard!
The farm has a gift shop. You can participate in wine tastings there. Smaller guests will enjoy the Ice cream parlor.
5. Alameda Park Zoo
The Alameda Park Zoo is a fun thing to do in Alamogordo, NM for young and old. It was founded in 1898. This makes it one of the oldest zoos in the US. They have around 265 animals of 90 different species in the zoo.
The zoo is especially known for housing pumas, lemurs, and the Mexican grey wolf. The White Sands pupfish and the Hawaiian goose are also super cute. In the Educational Center visitors can learn a lot about the animals.
6. Trinity Site
The Trinity Site is an interesting historical site. At this place the first ever atomic bomb was detonated in 1945. It is a very interesting place to visit in Alamogordo, NM. and you can learn a lot about the history of the place.
The site is only open for visitors in April and October on special open days.
7. The White Sands Missile Range Museum
The White Sands Missile Range Museum is home to a lot of historical missiles. It was founded in 1994 to preserve old missiles and historic artifacts as an armed forces museum.
The museum will take you back in history and teach you a lot about warfare back in the day. Among other things you can see:
- The Frontier Army in New Mexico – 1806 to 1880
- Early Ranching in the Tularosa Basin
- The V-2 Rocket
- Manhattan Project and the Trinity Test
- Bataan Death March
- The Cold War at WSMR
- Rocket and Missile Testing during the Vietnam War
- The “Desert Navy” at White Sands
8. Visit the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park
The Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is an amazing place to see in Alamogordo, NM.
It aims to preserve the 19th century ranch house that used to belong to Oliver Lee. It ranges through the canyon of the Sacramento Mountains.
The Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is amazing for outdoor-lovers. Go hiking, camping, viewing wildlife or even just walking around the Park there.
There are a few nice trails to walk in the park. One of the most amazing trails in the park is the Dog Canyon National Recreational Trail. It starts at the visitor center. The walk is about 5.5 miles, climbing more than 3,000 feet up the canyon wall, from where you have an amazing view over the Tularosa Basin.
9. Visit the Toy Train Depot
The Toy Train Depot has been a point of interest in Alamogordo since 1898. The museum is built in a renovated old train depot. Some of the original features are still intact and they are being upkept.
The collection of the Toy Train Depot ranges from locomotive models to freight cars and passenger trains. You can even participate in a train ride in the on-site Park Ride Train Museum.
Train Ride: USD 5 per person
Museum and Tour : USD 5 per person
Train Ride + Museum Combination: USD 8 per person
10. Visit the Tularosa Basin Museum of History
The Tularosa Basin Museum of History is one of the most attractive things to do in Alamogordo, NM for history fans. The town of Tularosa is super cute as well, so driving there will definitely be a treat.
The Museum has a vast collection of various artifacts and items from local history and documents that are on display.
Especially interesting are the prehistoric Native American artifacts as well as over 3,000 historical photographs. Also interesting to see is the pottery collection from the La Luz Pottery Factory.
Another super interesting item to find in the museum is the 47-star US Flag that is on display there. We especially loved the exhibition devoted to the Holloman Air Force Base.
11. The Desert Foothills Park
One of my favorite nature things to do in Alamogordo NM is the Desert Foothills park. It is located at the base of the Sacramento Mountains.
The Park is ideal for walkers, runners, cyclists, kids, and leashed dogs, since most of the trails are paved or smoothed out pathways. Personally, I loved the picnic spot in the park the most!
12. The American Armed Forces Museum
The American Armed Forces museum opened its doors in 1997. Its main goal is to collect, preserve and showcase military memorabilia.
There are many different areas dedicated to all the different branches of service in the military. The main focus of the museum is on education. Especially the sentiment of service for your country and the sacrifices made are highlighted.
We loved seeing the old uniforms on display in the museum. Especially the letters and photographs were very touching.
13. See the Bridal Veil Falls
Hikers and photographers will love visiting the Bridal Veil Falls in Alamogordo, NM. The trail is suitable both for avid hikers and for beginners.
The nature around the Bridal Veil Falls is beautiful, and the sound of the water is super relaxing. The Bridal Veil Falls & Grand View Trail offers amazing views on a 7.4 miles (12.4 km) loop.
14. Play golf at the Desert Lakes Golf Center
Check out the Desert Lakes Golf Center for a really nice tee time. This 18-hole golf course provides well-maintained fairways with elevation changes and water hazards – for a little bit of a challenge.
They also have a sitting area and a bar – for a nice get together after sporty day.
15. See the Three Rivers Petroglyph site
See over 21,000 petroglyphs at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site.
It is located in Three Rivers New Mexico, midway between Tularosa and Carrizozo. This is a great place to visit when staying in Alamogordo.
The Petroplyphs are amazing examples of prehistoric Jornada Mogollon rock art. You can see masks, sunbursts, weapons and even handprints.
Walk the 0.5 mile long Petroglyph Trail or see the partially excavated prehistoric village on the short trail.
16. Check out the Rocket City Family Fun Center
The Rocket City Family Fun Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico is a great place to visit for young and old. It offers more than 35,000 square feet of pure and fun entertainment!
Check out some really cool areas, that include bowling, an arcade, laser tag and so much more. People have spent hours there without getting bored!
The Center even has an Italian restaurant attached to it, so you can fill up your bellies after a long day of fun games!
17. Heart of the Desert/Eagle Ranch Pistachios Farm Tour
As an avid wine-lover myself I have loved taking a wine-tasting trip at Heart of the Desert. It is not only a vineyard, but also a pistachio ranch.
Sample from their award winning selection of delicious wines, pistachios and cheese. You can enjoy the tasting on a gorgeous patio and have an amazing look over the winery.
This Alamogordo winery has something to offer for every taste. They have a surprisingly big selection of wines to try out.
Of course it is also possible to tour the vineyard and learn about the harvesting and production process.
18. Shroud Exhibit and Museum, Alamogordo, NM
The Shroud Exhibit and Museum in Alamogordo, NM was created to teach visitors about Shroud of Turin and its connection to the history of New Mexico.
Visitors can gain insight into Shroud of Turin via research materials, facts, and exhibits.
19. New Mexico Rails-to-Trails
Rails to Trails is an organization dedicated to preserve different types trails used in the local railroad lines. They also offer great hikes in the New Mexico area.
You can check out a couple of different trails in the surrounding area. They are suitable for different skill levels and range from easy to advanced.
The Grand View Trail is amazing for beginners. It includes some beginner hiking through the pinon and juniper forests.
More avid hikers will love the Soldado Canyon Trestle trail and the Bridal Veil Falls Trail.
20. Sacramento Mountains Museum, Alamogordo, NM
The Sacramento Mountains Museum in Cloudcroft tells a story of the early settlers in the area, the Mescalero Apaches.
The museum has several different exhibits that showcase the efforts and struggles of these people trying to build new homes in the area.
You can also buy some great souvenirs at the adjacent gift shop. Guided tours are available as well.
21. Grindstone Stables, Ruidoso, NM
As a horse lover, this is one of my favorite things to do in Alamogordo, NM. The Grindstone Stables in Ruidoso offer horseback riding to visitors.
Beginners and advanced riders are supervised by an experienced and trained guide to make sure you have the best riding experience possible.
The guided horseback tour starts on Grindstone lake and moves up to Townsend Ridge. The tours is about three miles long and you will stop at some amazing picture points.
22. Grindstone Lake
Grindstone Lake is an amazing place to visit in Alamogordo, NM. It is beautiful and secluded mountain lake, and super popular among hikers, fishers and nature enthusiasts.
The GRINDSTONE LAKE RECREATION AREA AND TRAIL SYSTEM consist of a system of five different trails that cover 18 miles.
There are a lot of fun things to do on these trails, including horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. The area is even dog-friendly.
The lake is also an amazing destination for fishers. They can find catfish, bass, and rainbow trout, and the float on the lake in non-motorized boats.
23. Noisy Water Winery
The Noisy Water Winery is another super cool place to visit in Alamogordo, NM. One of my favorite things about the Noisy Water Winery is the shop, that offers a selection of handcrafted wine and food.
They offer several different wines at the winery, the grapes were all sourced from around the site in southern New Mexico.
They even have a famous line of self-made cheeses that they offer to visitors. As a wine and cheese enthusiast myself, this place is heaven on earth for me.
24. Plateau Espresso
Plateau Espresso is one of my favorite places to spend a lovely Sunday morning in Alamogordo, NM. My husband used to take me there every week for a sandwich and a coffee.
The cafe has an amazing view over the valley, which makes it a cool spot to visit. The employees are super friendly and the atmosphere is cozy.
Plateau Espresso even offers live music sometimes – it is definitely a place for young and old. Plus, the beverages are a lot cheaper than at the local Starbucks.
25. Flickinger Center for Performing Arts
The Flickinger Center for Performing Arts is a cool place to visit in Alamogordo, NM for art lovers.
They are showing different live musicals, music concerts, holiday event shows, and dance recitals – what’s not to love? Make sure to check their even calendar on the website to see upcoming shows.
The Flickinger Center is also known to promote local artists in Alamogordo by showing their performances.
Reservations can be made via the website.
26. Shop and Dine at the Alamogordo Main Street
Alamogordo Main street is THE place for shopping and eating. Many of the shops are remnants of the history of the city.
Community events are being held at Main Street as well. Some of the shops carry local products – which make for a great souvenir.
A visit to Alamogordo would definitely not be complete without a stop at the Main Street.
27. Tunnel Vista Observation Site
The Tunnel Vista Observation Site is located alongside the US82 and offers an amazing view over the Tularosa Basin.
While you are in the area, check out the Tunnel Vista Trail for hiking. The 0.8-km out-and-back trail starts near High Rolls Mountain Par and it takes about 20 mins to complete.
How to get to Alamogordo
The next closest (bigger) airport is in El Paso, Texas. It is about 85 miles (136.79 km) away from Alamogordo. So you will need to drive for about two hours from the airport. I suggest getting a rental car.
Apart from the airport in El Paso, there are some smaller airports in the area, like the Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport. Another airport is located in Las Cruces. These small airports do not offer many connections.
Coming in from Europe? Check my tips for flying from Europe to the USA.
When is the best time to visit Alamogordo?
Alamogordo is known for its amazing weather year-round.
The winters can be pretty cold, sometimes it even snows. Luckily, the winters in Alamogordo are very short. December is the coldest month of the year. You will enjoy an average daily temperature of 31°F.
If you are into warm weather activities, I suggest visiting between May and October. You can enjoy some amazing warm and sunny days in that period.
Keep in mind, that in summer it can get quite hot in Alamogordo. From the end of May until mid-September is the hot season in Alamogordo. The average temperature is 86°F.
Where to eat in Alamogordo
My favorite place to have a coffee or a snack in Alamogordo is the Plateau Espresso. As the name suggests, it is located on a hill and overlooks the entire valley.
Apart from the Plateau Espresso, there are many more cool restaurants in the city. My favorite dinner restaurant is Si Senor, offering delicious Mexican dishes and they even have Margarita Tuesdays.
Check out the Pizza Patio and Thai Cuisine – both of them offer super yummy dishes.
Where to stay in Alamogordo
There are a couple of great hotels in Alamogordo. Since it can get so hot, I suggest picking a hotel with a pool. Luckily, most of them have one.
The Hampton Inn in Alamogordo is my favorite hotel in Alamogordo. It has an indoor pool and a whirlpool, something I greatly enjoy.
Another good option is the Home2 Suites by Hilton. They have an outdoor swimming pool as well as a spa.
Frequently asked Questions
Alamogordo, NM is especially famous for the White Sands National Park, Holloman Air Force Base and the Trinity Site. It is also home to the biggest pistachio in the world.
Check out the Trinity Site, the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Space History Museum.
A fun fact about Alamogordo, NM is, that it is home of the biggest pistachio in the world. Also, the first ever atomic bomb was detonated there.
Yes, the small city of Alamogordo, NM is considered as a very safe place.